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Non-profit provides safe space for young girls to be themselves

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girls rock

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21)- A local non-profit equips and empowers middle and high school girls.

Girls Rock has provided mentors for some 2,000 girls in the past 10 years. Amani Gaines is a junior at East Allen University, she says Girls Rock gives her and her friends a place to be themselves.

"Like if I go in there and say something about my family I just feel like its there and no one else knows except for the people in the room, I feel like its a safe space to talk," Gaines said.

The organization provides mentors from all around Fort Wayne who come in and give the girls tools that will help them when they graduate.

"Part of what girls rock has done is try to give girls experience and exposure to things outside of what they may live and what they're being brought up in," Executive Director Danita Washington said.

Washington says she created this organization to make a difference in the lives of young girls.

"It's just building a bridge of hope, that no matter where you come from, no matter where you've been born or who you've been born to, there is hope for your next level of living," Washington said.

Another member, Khadijar Gem says ever since joining she's come out of her shell.

"I'm someone that's not comfortable talking to people that I don't know, just being around people like that. Being in girls rock I feel like I've been a little bit more confident than I used to be," Gem said.

Gem said the girls are welcoming and respectful of her religion and culture. She says she wasn't sure at first how she felt about sharing things about herself with the group, but she quickly changed her mind.

"As time went on I'm like 'Oh my gosh they keep it to themselves' they don't go out and tell everyone 'Oh this girl does this and that' you can trust everyone,"

Girls Rock will host a gala on March 5th to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. For more information head to their Facebook page.

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Arielle Cadet

Arielle Cadet joined WPTA in August 2019. The Atlanta, Georgia native graduated from the University of Missouri and serves as Weekend Anchor/MMJ for ABC21. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or shoot her an email at

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